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Friday, 8 November, 2002, 16:29 GMT
New £99m hospital open
Great Western Hospital
The L-shaped £99m hospital will have 551 beds
A new £99m hospital was officially opened in Swindon on Friday.

The Great Western Hospital has taken three years to build and will replace the old Princess Margaret Hospital in the Wiltshire town.

The hospital will have 551 beds and a staff of 3,500 when it opens for patients on 3 December.

And all patients will have their own telephones and televisions equipped with cable channels.

Great Western Hospital
Carillion will employ maintenance staff
The new hospital is one of the first to be built under the Private Finance Scheme.

All health care services will continue to be provided by NHS staff but the building itself will be leased from the Hospital Company.

Carillion will be responsible for maintaining the building and employing maintenance staff, including security, portering and catering.

At the end of a 30-year period, the building will become the property of Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust.

'Real milestone'

Buildings on the hospital site include a 60-bed rehabilitation unit, a staff accommodation block and a crèche.

Chief Executive Sonia Mills said: "The real highlight is obviously next month when the patients move in and we open the accident and emergency unit.

"Today is a real milestone though, since it marks the completion of the building and the day when we really prepare for the handover."

The town's Princess Margaret Hospital which was built in 1958, needed £50m to be refurbished.


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09 Jan 02 | England
09 Oct 02 | England
24 Sep 02 | England
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